Audi models using automatic gearboxes could feature illegal emissions cheating software if findings made by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are accurate.
The research, which has been increased following the emissions scandal of Audi parent company Volkswagen, found that automatic gearbox software adjusts the way gears are selected if a car is subjected to test conditions, where the steering wheel remains perfectly straight.
According to Automotive News Europe, this ‘dynamic shift’ software, which is designed to adjust shift patterns to best suit driving scenarios, has been used in Audi automatic models sold in Europe and the US with petrol and diesel engines for years.
Audi revealed to Autocar that following the allegations it has explained “the technical background on dynamic shift programs to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority [Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, KBA],” and has “provided the KBA with technical information”.
“In the testing situation of a test bench, dynamic shift programs can lead to incorrect readings and results that cannot be reproduced,” it added. “This needs to be taken into account in test bench mode for all OEMs.”
The US investigation is ongoing, and Audi confirmed more conversations with the KBA would follow. It concluded, “Please understand that in light of ongoing discussions with regulators in the United States, we cannot comment further at this time.”
Along with other brands of the Volkswagen Group, Audi has been investigated as part of the Dieselgate scandal. Ex-engine boss Stefan Knirsch quit in September amid accusations he was involved in the scandal, and the brand has undergone big changes to its motorsport and road car development programmes as Volkswagen looks to cut costs and clean up its image.